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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 February 2012

Don't let the racist EDL divide us

Fight for jobs, homes and services

Socialist Party members Leicester
Anti-EDL demonstration in Tower Hamlets in June 2010, photo P Mason

Anti-EDL demonstration in Tower Hamlets in June 2010, photo P Mason   (Click to enlarge)

The racist and hooligan English Defence League (EDL) claims its demonstration through the heart of Leicester on Saturday 4 February, is in opposition to "discrimination in the justice system". But this is not about there being 'one law for the rich and another for everyone else' - it is about what they ludicrously claim is discrimination in the British legal system in favour of Muslims!

The EDL is a racist organisation which is based on a travelling circus of thugs going from town to town in an attempt to stir up division amongst working class people. They scapegoat Muslims, basing themselves on the fear of terrorism that was exacerbated by the 'war on terror' - initiated by the British and US governments to justify the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq.

In the process they divert attention away from those causing the real problems people face - such as unemployment, cuts in services, low pay, and lack of housing. They hamper the fightback against governments and big business by attempting to divide working class people.

The EDL claims: "We have marched through many cities and towns across the country with zero disruption to communities and that is our full and only intention for 4 February." This is a lie. In October 2010 they came to Leicester and attacked people and shops they saw as 'not English'. YouTube footage of their attack on innocent men, women and kids in 'Big John's', a Halaal fast food restaurant, is available for all to see.

Hundreds of EDLers attempted to attack the Highfields area, where there is a large Muslim population. Only a massive mobilisation of local people stopped them. The huge police operation was ineffective, indicating that communities and workers have to defend themselves.

On that day the Unite Against Fascism protest was kettled by police at the same time as some of the EDL were allowed to roam free. We need to avoid this happening again.
This time the EDL are being allowed to march through the centre of Leicester.

On 4 February there will be a big counter-demonstration supported by the Socialist Party in Leicester City Centre to oppose the EDL: we aim to stop them by force of numbers!

But, alongside this demonstration there will be community self-defence organised in areas that feel under threat. We fully support this, and believe that trade unionists and anti-racists should stand shoulder to shoulder with local communities. There needs to be coordination between us all to be as effective as possible on the day.

And to undercut any support EDL might get in the wider community, we need to make it clear: We don't just oppose the EDL, we are also fighting for jobs, homes and services for all.

Demonstrate against the EDL

Assemble near the Clock Tower, Leicester city centre, Saturday 4 February, 11am

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In The Socialist 1 February 2012:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Bankers bonus scandal - Fight this profit-mad system

Trade unionists and socialists prepare for May elections

What is the point of Labour MPs?

Dead end in Davos

Them & Us

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Don't let the racist EDL divide us

Disabled protesters demand scrapping of 'welfare' bill

Haringey takes action against academies

Coventry: Re-elect Dave Nellist

Socialist Party youth and students

NUS: name the day for student walkout

Save Derbyshire youth services!

Only one in six 'vacancies' real

Tough conditions for agency workers

South East Wales youth plan new campaigns

International socialist news and analysis

EU summit - no capitalist solutions to the spiralling eurozone crisis

Interview: the Tunisian revolution one year on

Socialist Party workplace news

Pensions battle: Unions must campaign for coordinated strike action in March

London Docklands transport workers win Olympics deal

Unison pensions cowardice

Remploy workers fight privatisation

Jet tanker drivers continue strike action

Workplace news in brief

The Socialist - readers' comments

Debate: Should socialists support the HS2 rail line?

Are the Greens a real alternative?

Smacking not the answer

Obituary: Gwenda Beishon


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